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Baked Apples with Shallots and Herbs

M and P Serves 6

Make Ahead/Storage: Apples can be baked 4 hours ahead and kept loosely covered at room temperature.

6 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup chopped dried figs

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses*

3 tablespoons best-quality honey

3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

6 large firm apples, cored, preferably Pink Lady or Rome Beauty

1. Heat a small saut é pan over medium heat, and lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Saut é the shallots, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, thyme, and rosemary, and continue to cook until garlic is tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

3. Pulse the cherries and figs in a food processor 10-12 times, until the fruits are chopped and clumping together. You don’t want them to form a smooth paste. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and stir in the shallot mixture, pomegranate molasses, honey, and 1/4 cup of the wine.

4. Stuff the mixture into the cored apples. You should have enough stuffing to generously stuff the apples and have some of the stuffing “pop” out of the top of the apples (I love this part, as it gets crispy on top.)

5. Place the apples in a baking dish, and pour the remaining 1/2 cup wine around the apples. Bake the apples until they are soft and fairly wrinkly, 30-45 minutes. Occasionally, spoon some of the wine and juices onto the apples so they do not dry out.

6. Serve the apples warm with the cooking juices spooned around them.

*Pomegranate molasses can be purchased locally at Jay International Food Co. in St. Louis or at Global Market in Kirkwood.

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